Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Huge, huge news tonight: the Seattle Mariners have gotten the young hitter they desired, while the New York Yankees have gotten the young pitcher they were looking for. The Yankees have acquired Michael Pineda from the Mariners in exchange for catcher Jesus Montero. Other names are in the deal, but they haven't leaked out yet.

Pineda won the Rookie of the Year award here at TOC this offseason on the strength of a 3.74 ERA (3.42 FIP) in 171 innings. The 22 year old Pineda struck out 173 and walked 55 in those 171 innings. He was expected to anchor the Seattle rotation for years to come along with Felix Hernandez. The Yankees apparently tried to acquire Hernandez from the Mariners initially, and according to Jon Heyman, were prepared to offer a package of Montero, Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances, but the Mariners had no plans to move their ace.

Montero was expected to be a cornerstone for the Yankees in the future, despite not really being suited to catch long-term. Montero had a brief, 69 plate appearance tenure in the big leagues this season, and had a .328/.406/.590 line with four home runs. On the season at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Montero had a .288/.348/.467 line in 463 plate appearances, a down year for him. Montero, also 22 years old, was expected to be the Yankees DH for the 2012 season after the retirement of Jorge Posada.

Once we learn the other names in the deal (it's apparently a four player trade), we'll update this post with some analysis on them as well. The Yankees are now in the market for a designated hitter, and there are plenty of options on the market (which we'll discuss at another time) from the big (Prince Fielder), to the familiar (Johnny Damon), to the enemy (JD Drew). New York now solidifies the top of their rotation with a great young option behind CC Sabathia, and this will take some pressure off of Ivan Nova in his second season. But then again, it will thrust more pressure onto Pineda, from competing in relative obscurity in Seattle to the bright lights of New York.

The Mariners now have acquired the top-shelf bat they've been searching for, and this will presumably take them out of the Fielder derby. Seattle could believe that Montero is their catcher of the future as opposed to a DH, but he won't be in that role in 2012 with Miguel Olivo behind the dish. Regardless of where Montero plays, he will be playing every day in Seattle, something that the Yankees seemed hesitant to do for him.

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1 Comment:
  • Love this trade, even if it means losing Montero. That kid is gonna have a great career.
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